Having a spot of morning tea and a cuppa is part of an initiative that is paying dividends at an eight-unit LinkPeople complex in Elsdon, Porirua.

Last year, LinkPeople team leader Justine reached out to Constable Leathem from the Kapiti Mana Community Team to see if there was a way to build a safe and positive relationship between our tenants and the police. “The idea was to help build trust and confidence with the great community work their local police do in their community and that the tenants can call the police without fear,” Justine explained.

Constable Leathem was quickly on board and the pair put in place a regular catch up between police and our tenants.

“We had our first catch up for this year (on 22 January) and the flow of conversation was so good. The guys are so comfortable to talk about themselves, jobs they have had, showing her photos of family and friends. It has been an awesome initiative helping our folk feel safe in their home, knowing the police are there to support them and provide safety,” Justine said.

And it’s not just our people who have been noticing a difference, with Constable Leathem observing that “since these get togethers have started, I have seen a positive difference in the relationship between tenants and police. When I’m out and about they happily engage with me”.

As well as the relationship between the police and our tenants, the relationship between the tenants has also improved. “My observation with the tenants has been an increase in ‘their community of eight’ being tighter and more positive interaction between them all since these started!” Justine said.

“All our folk are keen for the next morning tea. With this we started to talk about the garden area and Jan said she would be keen to help out with a gardening bee and could get a couple of her colleagues to help out for a morning. Watch this space as we start to plan what this will look like. Two of the tenants are already planning the shared vegetable patch and how this will look, what will be grown and the best place to position it for best light etc!” Justine concluded.